Cabin crew members and pilots for the British discount airline EasyJet will be trained to administer Covid-19 vaccines, the company said Wednesday.
Easyjet said it expects hundreds of its employees to volunteer for “fast tracked” training to become vaccinators at immunization centers across the country.
“With over 3000 crew who are first aid trained, security cleared and based up and down the UK in London, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast, easyJet cabin crew are well positioned to support the NHS (National Health Service) in the nation-wide vaccination programme,” the airline said in a statement.
EasyJet, like other airlines, has been operating on a reduced schedule since the beginning of the pandemic with many employees receiving government support.
“As cabin crew we are in a great position to support the vaccination effort because of the first aid and safety-focused training we receive for our job, cabin crew member Katy Bryant said.
Britain set out plans this week to “rapidly scale up” its vaccine program, as cases of the new variant surge and hospital admissions threaten to overwhelm the health service. The government pledged to have capacity to deliver at least two million vaccinations in England per week by the end of January and for every adult in the UK to be offered a vaccine by autumn.
Last year, EasyJet, Virgin Atlantic and other airlines in the UK worked with the government to recruit crew members with first-aid training to support coronavirus field hospitals and to volunteer as frontline workers.
British Airways crews volunteered with ambulance services or took on support roles in hospitals, performing non-clinical tasks such as changing beds and helping patients call their families. According to a British Airways statement in December 2020, more than 1,500 employees gave up their time last year “to volunteer and support organisations across the UK, including volunteering at Covid-19 test centers and foodbanks” as well as at ambulance services and the British Red Cross.